Family Meals With No TV Makes Kids Less Fussy Eaters, Study Reveals

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It is no secret that children don’t like eating greens and vegetables and pressuring them to do it just isn’t a pleasant experience. And now a study has revealed that a relaxed parenting style could be key in making sure the kids don’t turn out to be fussy eaters.

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Also Read: Meet 7-Year-Old Siddhanth, Who Has Built An App To Track Nutrition Of Tiffin Box

This is according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Sunshine Coast (USC), the University of South Australia and the University of Queensland (published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health).

Researchers looked at 80 health industry studies identifying picky eating in children under 10, based on parental reports.

According to experts, one thing that works the best is turning off the TV and/or banning any kind of screens from the dining table — no phones, no iPads, nothing. 

According to Laine Chilman, eating together as a family with siblings and consuming meals at a regular time on the dining table reduces the fussiness related to food. What also worked was involving the fussy child in creating the menu or asking the child in making the meal. 

She also highlights that incentivising screen time for eating veggies or food negatively influences the behaviour of picky eaters. 

Also Read: Is Your Child Picky About Food? Blame it on Genes

Features of a typical fussy eater included reduced food intake, reduced preference for vegetables as well as rejecting to try anything new, refusing food based on its texture and preferring a limited variety of foods. 

Kids who were picky eaters also took longer to eat, avoiding meal times as well as inspecting food. They also found fussy eaters to be male, firstborn and underweight.

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Also Read: People Working From Home Are Eating Junk Food, Alcohol And Not Sleeping Well

Co-author Dr Ann Kennedy-Behr at University of South Australia explained, “When you have a child who is a picky eater, it’s very stressful for a parent or carer – they’re forever questioning whether their child is getting enough nutrients, enough food, and often enough weight gain.”

She added, “Avoiding getting cross and limiting any negativity around mealtime will benefit everyone. Positive parenting, no matter how difficult it can be in certain situations, is the best step forward for fussy eaters.”

Do you know of any kids that are fussy eaters? Let us know in the comments below, and keep reading Indiatimes.com for your latest science and technology news and updates.

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